Autumn Flowers by Ana Mallah
18th October 2019
Here at Inspirations, it seems we have finally come to the end of what has felt like an interminable winter. Glancing out of the office window, we’re met with the sight of blossom on the trees, colourful camelias and buds bursting everywhere. For those in the Northern Hemisphere however, you’re probably seeing quite the opposite with days getting shorter, the air getting cooler and the leaves changing colour.
Despite the beauty of the Australian countryside, the fact that all of our native trees are essentially evergreens means that we don’t always experience the riot of colour that emerges as autumn arrives and the leaves start to turn. The sheer variety of hues – reds, oranges, yellows and browns – which mark a northern autumn, is a sight to behold.
From a biological point of view, we know that the trees are conserving their energy, absorbing the chlorophyll molecules and shedding leaves to hunker down for the colder, drier winter. But you could also think of it as the last night out for the trees, who put on their finery and display their beauty to the world, before the long, cold hibernation period.
Ana Mallah has captured this display perfectly in her project ‘Autumn Flowers’ from Inspirations issue #104.
It couldn’t be more realistic if she had just walked through a European park and collected the leaves she’d found on the ground.
By rendering each leaf in three dimensions using the techniques of stumpwork, one feels like they could just pluck the branch from the hoop. Ana has identified the subtle gradation of colour in each individual leaf and selected threads to represent it perfectly.
If you were wondering how she has managed to create colour variation, she’s turned to Cottage Garden Threads to help. These threads are hand-dyed and combine amazing colours to produce every variegated combination you could possibly imagine.
By using a combination of Cottage Garden Threads with rich DMC colours, and carefully blending them together to create each leaf, she’s produced a lasting monument to nature’s fashion parade.
If you work each individual leaf separately, following the instructions, you will notice that Ana has cheekily included a little nod to the southern hemisphere by her addition of some tiny Eucalyptus leaves. Despite these leaves keeping their colour all year round, their natural hue complements their Northern counterparts perfectly.
Unlike some stumpwork, the structure of these leaves comes from the wired vein rather than a wired surround. This means that your cutting may require some extra care to avoid damaging the stitched leaf. Take your time with the long and short stitch as well to get your colour and stitch direction just right. There’s no harm in trying again if it doesn’t look right in the first place.
Autumn Flowers allows you to bring that flavour of the season to your home for the whole year. When the leaves outside fall and become mulch beneath your feet, this piece will retain its vibrancy and remind you of the majesty of the natural world.
Make Your Own Autumn Flowers
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Autumn Flowers by Ana Mallah is a glorious stumpwork garland celebrating stunning autumn leaves.
Inspirations Issue 104
Autumn Flowers – i104 Digital
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Autumn Flowers includes everything you need to re-create this delightful autumn garland: Fabrics (unprinted), felt, fusible webbing, wire, beads, embroidery threads and needles.
Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step details on how to create this project, please refer to our magazine or digital pattern.